Before we go on, I’m going to ask – did you notice we skipped a month? I’m going to be honest and explain why, though the short version is that I’m a book reviewer who was briefly unable to read books…


I had my second injection this week and I was so hyper and excited the nurses were alarmed. It’s a ticket to normal life isn’t it? For better or worse, we can now glimpse how things were before and consider the possibility we might get back there. And that’s a huge relief. Because for me, what came directly before lockdown was a precious three weeks of clarity, of hope, of something like happiness following a really difficult period.


Having sought help around Christmas 2019, by March, my weekly therapy sessions, medication and efforts to get out, meet people and invite positivity into my life were finally clicking into place. And then lockdown happened. I read, I wrote, I read and I read and I read, those other worlds providing an essential escape from the same four walls I was living in alone. But then I was made redundant and dumped and as I felt the positivity draining away, for a brief period I couldn’t even read.


They were still there, the books. The precious books. Those 350ish pages waiting for me to post about them, review them, chat about them. Those words were, and are, utterly essential to me. But I think it’s important to talk about mental health, and to acknowledge that sometimes, even reading feels impossible. Even when you’ve told thousands of readers you’ll tackle three books for them in April.


And so, on to the books – because a month late is infinitely better than never…


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